What is Up With D2L? Fall 2017

The New Look – Why?

  • The new look and design, particularly that of the My Courses list, is part of the newest version of Desire2Learn software. This was mostly done to improve ADA/screen reader performance and to make the layout more readable and responsive on phones and tablets.
  • Despite striking cosmetic differences, most workflows and button locations are actually relatively unchanged.
  • All customers of D2L will eventually be required to switch to the new layout, and it is where D2L is putting the bulk of their new ideas and features. The gap between Summer II and Fall was the least disruptive time for SRU to make this change.
  • No courses were deleted. Do not worry if you don’t see them under your MY COURSES box. Everything is still where you left it.
  • Unfortunately, if you are of the handful of faculty who have learned how to use templates to customize the colors and graphics of your course navbar, this feature is no longer supported at the moment and your courses may have reverted to a plain color layout.

Tips for the New “My Courses” Box

Unfortunately, the old listing of courses grouped by year and semester has been discontinued by the developers at D2L. However, there have been improvements to the search box for locating courses, and faculty can “pin” their most-used D2L sites to their D2L home screen for quicker access. To quickly search through your courses, click the WAFFLE button at the top-center navbar, shown below:


Use the search box to search for courses by year, title or CRN. TIP: Type “201709” to see Fall 2017 courses. Then, click the little thumb pin icon across from the course title to add it to your home page.


Learn more about pinning courses and organizing your My Courses box below:


Information about the little picture titles that appear next to your courses:



Where Did the Icons Next to Files in “Content” Go? I can’t tell what anything is!

Due to many customer complaints, D2L is restoring these icons on August 18.
Start Here Moby Dick Seminar

Where Did the MY HOME Button go?

Click the house button in the upper-left corner, or click the waffle button to jump to a different course.

new my home



New Feature – Fast and Easy Quiz Question Scrambling

It is no longer necessary to use the question library and awkward “random sections” to create a quiz/test in which each student receives the questions in a randomized order. D2L has responded to customer feedback and added a simple checkbox to accomplish this, found under the “Properties” tab when creating or editing a quiz:

shuffle quiz questions

If you would like to set up a quiz in which students are randomly assigned a set number of questions from a larger question pool (say, each student receives 10 questions from a pool of 30), this would still be accomplished by building/loading the questions into the Question Library, and then creating a “random section” within your quiz.

Building Quizzes – “New Experience”

If you use the Quizzes tool to create quizzes in D2L, you will be prompted if you would like to “turn on the new quizzing experience.” This is actually recommended; the new quiz builder interface is much simpler and intuitive:

new quiz question builder

The “Options” drop-down button in the top will allow you to change enumeration, feedback, do partial credit, and hints. The right-hand side is a preview of how the question will look.

Online Rooms & Blackboard Collaborate

The old version of Blackboard Collaborate, SRU’s web-conference/real-time e-learning platform has been retired. This tool will no longer appear under “Online Rooms.” However, the new and improved Collaborate Ultra is now available. If you would like to do real-time web meetings with voice, video, chat, and document sharing with your students, send a request to edtech@sru.edu and an online meeting room will be created for you.